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Why won't my WebVTT file upload correctly?

If you're having issues uploading your WebVTT to, say, YouTube or Vimeo, here are some things to consider:

1. First, make sure to check out our guides specific to YouTube and Vimeo. These articles detail the upload process, making note of a few important but easy-to-miss steps you'll want to keep in mind.

2. We've noticed some errors occurring with WebVTT files if you have the < or > character in your transcript. This is because WebVTT supports inline styles, which allow you to do things like italicize text if it's wrapped <i>like this</i>. More on this feature here. Because of these styles tags however, you won't be able to type the less than or greater than symbol in your transcript and have it appear as onscreen as simply < or >. In fact, having these characters in your transcript, if they aren't associated with a style tag, will usually result in upload failure.

Fortunately, there is an easy workaround to fix this problem. YouTube and Vimeo will read the code &lt; as a < symbol, and &gt; as a > symbol, per the WebVTT spec. Once your transcript is complete, you can run a Find and Replace function in InqScribe to convert the less than and greater than characters to their code counterparts. YouTube and Vimeo will be able to read the code, and convert it into the correct < and > symbols when you view the video.

Here are detailed instructions:
  1. Open your InqScribe transcript
  2. Select "Edit... Find"
  3. In the Find field, enter < and in the replace field, enter &lt;
  4. Select Replace All and verify the change was made
  5. Select "Edit... Find" again, this time entering > in the find field and &gt; in the replace field.
  6. Select Replace All and again verify that the change was made
  7. Export your transcript to a new WebVTT file and try uploading to YouTube/Vimeo. When you view the video with the new subtitles, Vimeo should display the correct < and > characters as they initially appeared in your transcript.
You can read more about the WebVTT format and the features it supports from Mozilla here.

For more about InqScribe's WebVTT support, check our the WebVTT section of our User Guide.

If you're still have issues getting your InqScribe WebVTT file to work, send an email to and we'll help to troubleshoot the problem.

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